I traveled out to San Antonio recently to blaze a barbacoa trail across that dusty old town. That dust is being blown away by all the new money blowing into Bexar County but it’s unlikely barbacoa will be hard to come by anytime soon.
While I was in the Alamo City I got wind of a taqueria in nearby Seguin, Texas that was purportedly putting out some of the best barbacoa and handmade flour tortillas in the entire region. Time to get on I-10.
El Taco Tejano sits in a former Dairy Queen on the main drag through town. It’s right down the road from the rock crushing plant and just two blocks from the local mortuary.
You could practically throw a rock and hit Davila’s, prime practitioners of the vaquero barbecue tradition.
I’m almost completely full but I always have room for one more taco.
I order barbacoa on flour tortilla and begin photographing the old room that once saw thousands of banana splits trotted out of the kitchen.
The workers are engaging and soon enough I find myself being informed of the history of the building as well as the family who converted the old milk bar into a top flight taco house.
Irene and Pablo Cepeda opened El Taco Tejano in March of 1990. I immediately inquire as to what they’ve done to celebrate 25 years of operation and the two ladies shrug. I love this laid back response as most concerns would’ve had marching bands, stilt walkers and fire jugglers if they were lucky enough to run a restaurant for a quarter century.
Soon enough a single taco comes winging its way out of the kitchen and it’s a beauty. The flour tortilla is flat-beautiful with lovely brown scars showing time well spent on the comal.
The barbacoa is the lean, pure, cheek-meat style with little fat but plenty flavor. A lemon, odd, is sitting on the plate. El Taco Tejano is a rarity in that they do not offer limes, just lemons.
A green salsa is carefully applied. I ask how hot it is and the waitress dismisses “sometimes it’s real hot and sometimes it’s mild, it just depends on the peppers”
It’s not hot but it sure does taste good.
It took me an hour to eat a taco at El Taco Tejano.
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